With the recent “death by cop” news on South Carolinian Walter Scott, I am reminded of one of my previous blog posts – Black People: Let’s Stop Pointing Fingers. In that post, I focused more about starting a social media campaign to raise awareness. However, today I want to ask the question, who will protect my handsome, brilliant son? This question burns deep within about all black boys/men and girls/women.
I, like lots of mothers and fathers, feel my son is handsome and brilliant! Everywhere I go with my little guy, there are always nonstop compliments that validate his handsomeness and his brilliance, from all ethnicities. But what is painfully clear, the older my son gets the more society will fear him and believe him to be a threat, based solely on the color of his skin. His smooth chocolate skin that I simply adore and find overwhelmingly beautiful, can actually be the cause of harassment or worse the cause of untimely death. As a black adult male, he may still be handsome and brilliant, however society will not see him that way. No matter what all he will accomplish, he will not be viewed as worthy to have a long life or even worthy of the things he has accomplished. What amazes and terrifies me all at the same time is that it doesn’t seem as if he will ever be safe! From the Ivy League to public college campuses, shopping in stores, walking in his neighborhood, or driving his car, his personal safety is not guaranteed.
We should all find that in 2015 black people, and especially black boys, still have difficulties based on the color of their skin very unsettling. While black children, men and women have always had these issues, as a society we are seeing more and more of these “incidents” due to social media, smart phones and the 24-hour news cycle. The constant assault on our psyche from media outlets that bombard us with bad news about black people can damage our perspectives of our own worthiness and further diminish our relevancy in the eyes of others. This is why so many in the black community are overjoyed when a black boy is able to “make it out” or make it to their 18th birthday.
So again I ask, who will protect my handsome, brilliant son? And did I mention he’s kind hearted, loves God, prays for others, stylish and while he still does all of what I find annoying boy things, he is gifted and a true blessing to his family and all whom he comes in contact. How do we protect our black boys from childhood to manhood? We must first realize we all have a responsibility to protect not only my son, but all black children. They are worthy of our protection and love throughout their lives even into adulthood. Neighborhood watchmen/women, policemen, neighbors, store clerks, clergy, all of us have this responsibility. And while the social media campaigns are important we need go back to the village mentality of understanding the children are the responsibility of the community. We are all responsible for them. We will protect them. We will love them. We will teach them that their lives matter and they are worthy of life, liberty and justice.
By the way, don’t be fooled by my title or even the tone of this post. I am quite confident that my Heavenly Father will always protect my handsome, brilliant, loving, stylish, kind, thoughtful, awesome son! In my faith, I also know that I am called to love, protect and guide all of God’s children…even into adulthood. Let us not forget that every black boy or black man who is killed is someone’s child. A mother and father grieves as they bury their child. That’s something I nor any other parent want to experience due to what we consider an untimely death. #BlackLivesMatter